The Productivity Commission made several recommendations around copyright law to the government last year, as part of a report on intellectual property arrangements.
It suggested allowing the use of VPNs to allow Australians to bypass geo-blocking and called for fair-use exceptions and the expansion of safe harbour provisions for online services.
In its response, the government described existing restrictions on fair use as restrictive and said that in some cases bypassing geo-blocking was warranted.
The MPAA's members are the six major US motion picture studios: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment; 21st Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios; and Warner Bros. Entertainment.
None of the Productivity Commission's recommendations met with even a shred of approval from the MPAA. "If the Commission’s recommendations were adopted, they could result in legislative changes that undermine the current balance of protection in Australia," the organisation said.
"These changes could create significant market uncertainty and effectively weaken Australia’s infrastructure for intellectual property protection. Of concern is a proposal to introduce a vague and undefined 'fair use' exception unmoored from decades of precedent in the United States.
"Another proposal would expand Australia’s safe harbour regime in piecemeal fashion. Still another would allow circumvention of geo-blocking and other technological protection measures."
The MPAA document, which was issued in the name of its chief executive, Charles Rivkin, recommended that Australia should adopt anti-camcording legislation. "While illegal copying is a violation of the Copyright Act, more meaningful deterrent penalties are required. For instance, in August 2012, a camcording perpetrator was convicted for illicitly recording 14 audio captures, many of which were internationally distributed through his affiliation with a notorious release group," it pointed out.
"His fine was a non-deterrent A$2000 (US$1600). Such low penalties fail to reflect the devastating impact that this crime has on the film industry."
The MPAA said Australia was a key violator of online copyright. "Australia maintains one of the region's highest rates of per capita online infringement of MPAA member company films," it noted.
"Rampant online piracy" was also a concern to the MPAA in New Zealand. It said that set-top boxes with pre-installed applications "allowing consumers to stream unauthorised live TV channels or VOD content into homes via an Internet connection" had boomed in popularity in the last year.
It also frowned on the availability of blank media boxes. "In addition, blank media boxes, which permit the installation of third-party, post-purchase applications, are especially problematic for the authorities’ enforcement efforts. MPAA urges the (New Zealand) Government to enact legislation to deal with this increasingly threatening form of piracy," the organisation advised.
The document took in the status of a number of other countries as well: South Africa, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the UK, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and Mexico.